Military spouses know all too well the struggle to find employment. Whether they are dealing with frequent PCS moves, minimal employment opportunities near their installation, or a myriad of other challenges, spouses have carried the lack of employment and underemployment burden in support of the military family for many years. In an effort to support the hiring of more military spouses in the federal workforce, The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has announced new hiring policies that take effect October 21, 2021.
New regulations will give federal agencies more flexibility in hiring military spouses. With the new regulations, federal agencies are now able to non-competitively appoint spouses to vacant federal positions, and geographic restrictions for hiring have been removed. The new regulation also updates the Priority Placement Program so that a recent relocation or PCS is no longer required. Those eligible for the new hiring policies include spouses of Active Duty and 100 percent disabled service members as well as widows of those killed in the line of duty.
The updated hiring rules shared by OPM will make the process of obtaining federal employment less challenging for spouses. Military spouses bring unique skillsets and experiences which will enhance any agency. The changes create a winning scenario for both military families and federal agencies. Military spouses can engage in long-term, rewarding employment, and federal agencies have has increased their talent pool of highly-qualified spouses for hiring.
Interested in finding out more about the changes in the federal hiring process? Your installation Family Member Employment Assistance Program (FMEAP) team is there to assist with all of your career and employment needs.
How do you search for a job if you don’t know where the next duty station is? The real answer is, you get creative and utilize all the resources you can find. It’s not impossible to get an idea of where your Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders might take you, but it’s certainly not easy.
As a Marine spouse looking for employment, start with the network you already have, continue to cultivate it, and grow your professional network. The Family Readiness Team has put together some resources to help you on your employment journey.
Learn more about what the Family Member Employment Assistance Program and Spouse Education & Career Opportunities can offer you as a Marine Corps spouse.